How to buy riding breeches

how to buy riding breeches

We all know purchasing riding breeches can be an excruciatingly painful experience.  Why is it that, without fail, every single pair you try on can make you look terrible?  There’s the ‘can’t-get-it-over-my-thighs’ experience.  Then there’s the ‘clown-pants experience with the waist that comes up to your chin.  And so the list goes on.  I'd like to share with you some of my findings to help you get the right breeches for you. Answer these simple questions below and you won’t have any more tales of woe about buying breeches…

How often do you ride?

If you are the occasional rider, perhaps only once a week in a lesson or perhaps 2-3 times a week, your requirements of breeches are much less than, say, a person who rides several horses on a daily basis. This may seem obvious, but the more you ride, the better the quality your breeches need to be. This is simply because they will last longer.

What is your budget?

Buy the best quality you can afford without exceeding your budget.  Sometimes it is cheaper in the long run to buy at the higher end of your budget, than several times well within your budget or at the lower end.

What is the length of your torso?

The length of your torso will determine what breeches’ ‘rise’ suits you best.  The ‘rise’ is the length between the waist band and the middle of crotch.  It comes in low, medium or traditional and high.  The reason why this is so important is because it determines the fit and comfort.

The low rise has become very popular in the world of regular clothes and breeches are no different.  The low rise breech works well for riders with a short rise.  So for example if you’re small or have a short rise, low rise breeches won’t be as low as on someone that is, say, 5’8”.  It doesn’t necessarily follow that riders with a short rise have short legs.  Riders with a short rise can actually have long legs.  Once again low rise is the best style as it shortens the appearance of your legs and lengthens your torso.

If you are proportioned evenly, then the traditional rise is the best choice, sitting right in the middle of your torso.

If you have a long torso and short legs, the high rise breeches can give you the look of extra leg length. 

What body shape are you?

All equestrians come in different shapes but do you know what?  It doesn’t really matter what shape you are.  What matters is finding a breech that works for your shape.  Whether your hourglass, pear shaped or whatever, my advice for you would always be the same:  before buying, don’t just look for women who look good in breeches, look for women who look like you who look good in breeches. And then, do what I do.  Observe them and see if you can work out what brand they’re wearing.  And if you can’t work it out, don’t be shy… just walk right up to them and ask straight out what they’re wearing.  They’ll be flattered.  Besides which…what’s the worst they can do or say? 

Anything else?

Yes! This is just one in a short series of articles about riding breeches. You can read the last one, about the difference between jodhpurs and breeches, and the next one, a buying guide for technical breeches. Take a moment to read them today and do share your thoughts in the comments box below.


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Rehan Ali posted on January 28 2019 at 06:01 AM

    Dear Kim

    Thank you for the good advice. I have been riding thrice a week for a couple of months from once a week lessons and thus was in need of proper riding breaches.

    The information shared above is directed to women in particular and may not be applicable completely to men but it does give a little idea that may be if some help to us (men).

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